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Somewhere is better than nowhere, grinning is better than grim;
Bourbon is better than bibles, but nothing is better than Jim.
He’s the old guy with the bedroll, who’s had a hard knock or two;
He sleeps in a rusty wheelbarrow, parked every night at the zoo.
Jim hasn’t a care in the world, though ashes cover his beard,
And all the grownups who cross his path think he’s completely weird.
But children think Jim’s a wonder—he teaches them letters and sums,
And never asks for a penny, and lets them pound on his drums!
The children all think that Jim’s tale is something that ought to be told,
So here’s to all the Jims of the world, who cannot be bought or sold!

Poem © 2020 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More The Whirligig #290
More Writers’ Pantry #44 at Poets and Storytellers United


A Bit of Sunday Morning Nonsense

Minus your face, dear, you bring me to tears.
A spot of confetti seems to last years.
The grit in the ashes soon turns to brass;
Shelves in my memory shatter like glass.
Come here, my darling, and bring me more wine;
Bear with my foolishness, make my face shine!

Poem © 2019 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Sunday’s Whirligig #236
More Poetry Pantry #497 at Poets United


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Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, Northern Arizona

volcanic mountain—
wave upon wave of ashes
crashing into pines

Haiku © 2016 and photo © 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Blue Monday
More Haiku Horizons: “Wave”


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Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, Northern Arizona

volcanic mountain—
woodpecker’s rat-a-tat-tat
stirring the ashes

Text and photo © 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More SkyWatch Friday
More Our World Tuesday
More Carpe Diem: “Woodpecker”

Whirling with ‘The Roosevelts’

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Each vignette begins with a phrase culled from Episode 5 of “The Roosevelts,” a PBS production by Ken Burns.

~~ 1 ~~
in the evening light
their faces suffused with joy
from the vin rosé
~~ 2 ~~
along the main street
one with no identity
stumbling block by block
~~ 3 ~~
ramshackle houses—
brittle sticks and broken glass
swaying in the wind
~~ 4 ~~
spread out on the floor
cold ashes from the fireplace—
wise ones heed the signs
~~ 5 ~~
Along the back roads
she hopes to pick a posy
for the one she loves.
~~ 6 ~~
no longer willing
to set aside discernment—
the terrified monk
~~ 7 ~~
in its suffering
the nation offering youth
to the flames of war
~~ 8 ~~
a soft leather glove
filled with a hand without fear—
scarecrow in the corn
~~ 9 ~~
chalk on a boxcar
denoting lot of tractors
bound for South Sudan
~~ 10 ~~
preachers and teachers
selfless servants of the race
still they go astray
~~ 11 ~~
To finish the job
they polarize the nation
into warring camps.
~~ 12 ~~
Immortal Dante,
how you love to guide us still
through the inferno.

© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Poetry Pantry #220
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 180


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This week’s Sunday Whirl words: prison, cloak, become, lens, goods, cash, pursuit, skirt, wild, Venus, beloved

~~ 1 ~~
Her skirt of ashes—
even the monks turn their heads,
amazed at the sight.
~~ 2 ~~
wild in the ruins—
children smearing their faces
with dust and ashes
~~ 3 ~~
sifting the ashes
of old sorrows at midnight—
her fruitless pursuit
~~ 4 ~~
Is the only bread
this crust made out of ashes?
Prison fare at best!
~~ 5 ~~
Ashes cloak the town
as the mountain blows its top—
~~ 6 ~~
only seven days
until the ashes become
the man she longs for
~~ 7 ~~
stories old men tell
about dry goods sold for cash
crumbling to ashes
~~ 8 ~~
beloved ashes
soon to be buried at sea
cradled by the waves
~~ 9 ~~
Are these flakes ashes
showering down from Venus
on the prophet’s head?
~~ 10 ~~
lens focused on ants
reduces them to ashes—
schoolboys’ whoops and caws

© 2013 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Carpe Diem: “Ashes”
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 138

Flaming Out

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Wellton Memorial Cemetery, Wellton, Arizona

after the battles
a tattered star flaming out
ashes to ashes

Text and photo © 2013 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Himmelsk
More Friday’s Fences
More SkyWatch Friday
More Carpe Diem: “Star”
More Ein Stück Himmel #73